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Thought for the Day: Having a makom kavu'ah for davening

The gemara (brachos 6b) quotes Rabbi Chelbo (quoting Rav Huna) and says:
“Kol ha’kovea’ makom le’tefillaso, Elokei Avraham b’ezro’”
“Whoever fixes a (regular) place for his prayers, the G-d of Avraham assists him.”
I saw that Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank asks: why is it davka the G-d of Avraham that will help him when he fixes a place for davening?  A fixed place in this context (as explained by Rabeinu Yona) means to always daven in the same shul (not necessarily the same seat).

He answers by first noting that Avraham, among the Avos, is noted for his extreme anivus (humility); as we see when Avraham Avinu was davening for S'dom he referred to himself as "dust and ashes" (breishis 18:27).  A person who always davens in the same shul year after year is per force going to be working on his anivus.  Whether it is being passed over for an (expected) aliyah, or disagreements about the pace of davening, or even personal disagreements with other members of the k'hilla; there is always something; and on and on.  Unless a person constantly moves around whenever something is not entirely to his liking, there are frequent (probably daily) opportunities for working on his mida of anivus and subjugating his "I" to the smooth running of the k'hila.

A person who fixes a place for t'fila, therefore, automatically is accepting to put himself in second place; thus emulating the hanaga (conduct) of our illustrious ancestor, and quite appropriately "Elokei Avraham b'ezro".


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